Judiciary News

Retirees Suit Against FG : Industrial Court Fixes May 19

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja fixed May 19 for judgment in a suit instituted by aggrieved retirees from the six geo-political zones of the country against the Federal Government over alleged discrimination in the implementation of the pension policy in the country.

The trial Judge, Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae fixed the date after counsel to various parties adopted their processes and arguments in the matter.

Earlier in the proceedings, the court granted a motion by the counsel to the retirees, Emmanuel Omonuwa seeking leave of court to file additional facts on oath by the claimants.

The retirees are challenging the alleged refusal of the Federal Government to review their pensions upward in line with the provisions of Section 173 of the 1999 Constitution.

The retirees are asking the court to determine the legality and applicability of Section 173 of the 1999 Constitution, Pension Acts of 2004 and 2014 and circulars issued by the Federal Government agencies relating to pension implementations.

The six defendants in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Director General, National Pension Commission and the Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

They are also asking the court to declare that the Pension Reform Act, 2014 Act does not have a retrospective effect of taking away the rights that had accrued before the coming into effect of the 2014 Pension Reform Act.

The retirees further sought a declaration that having put into the service the minimum mandatory period for gratuity before the 2014 Act came into being, they are entitled to their gratuities notwithstanding the coming into effect of the 2014 Pension Act and applied for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and their agents from further denying them and other retired officers of the Contributory Pension Scheme who had put into service the minimum years for gratuity before the effect of the 2014 Pension Act their earned entitlements.

The retirees also sought an order of mandamus compelling the defendants to compute, with immediate effect, all their financial entitlements and those of officers on Contributory Pension and their gratuity to put an end to the continuous injury being inflicted on them by the refusal to review their pension upward.

At the end of the proceedings, Justice Obaseki-Osaghae announced that she would deliver the Court’s decision on May 19.

Cov/Garry Ochigbo. . Edited By Grace Namiji

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